DCU Led Project Addressing Gender Imbalance in Entrepreneurial Sector Receives €1m in Funding

A Dublin City University (DCU) led consortium that is addressing the gender imbalance in the Entrepreneurial sector in Ireland, has been awarded nearly €1m in funding.

The project is titled ‘Overcoming the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Gender Divide: A Cross-Cultural Perspective’. The head of the project is Professor Maura McAdam, a Professor of Management and Director of Entrepreneurship in DCU’s Business School.

The team is made up of McAdam and three partners from Israel, Norway and Sweden. The aim of the project is to provide a nuanced understanding of how gender is a decisive factor when it comes to women’s participation in the entrepreneurship ecosystem.

The funding was awarded by the Irish Research Council under GENDER-NET Plus, who are an EU-funded initiative. Their aim is to strengthen networks between researchers from other countries and to support gender equality through institutional change. They gave the project €994,133.

The project is set to last for three years and the work began on March 1st 2019. After the end of year one, outputs from the different stages of the project will start getting published.

With the contributors of the project being from four different countries, there will be a cross-cultural comparison of women’s participation in the entrepreneurial ecosystems in each of the countries.

An entrepreneurial ecosystem is the social and economic environment that affect the local or regional entrepreneurship which helps to promote the creation of new businesses. A healthy inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem includes four domains, which are density, fluidity, connectivity and diversity of opportunity.

“In all four domains, women’s entrepreneurial activity is underrepresented: the relative share of women in and entering into entrepreneurship is lower than for men,” said McAdam, “women are leaving employment in STEM-based industries, due to a hostile environment, gender bias and glass wall/ceiling effects, reducing their potential entrepreneurial contribution; where networks exist they are not all gender inclusive; and women are significantly underrepresented in what is still a highly masculinised domain.”

It is hoped that this project will increase awareness of gender inequality within the high tech sector, which may lead to more gender equality in the sector and for more women to become successful technology entrepreneurs.

Article published in campus.ie

The Banbridge Leader- Maura’s project supports women

An international consortium led by Professor Maura McAdam at Dublin City University, has been awarded €994,133 to help tackle gender inequalities in Ireland’s entrepreneurial sector.

Professor Maura McAdam, who is from Banbridge, will work with researchers from Norway, Israel, Sweden and Ireland on the three-year project entitled Overcoming the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Gender Divide: A Cross-Cultural Perspective to provide an understanding of how gender is a decisive factor in women’s participation in entrepreneurship, with a focus on women in technology.

It will generate new insights and knowledge whilst providing tools to visualise and challenge underlying gender imbalances that inhibit the process of innovation in entrepreneurship. It is hoped that a cross-cultural comparison between the four partner countries will help to explain variations and similarities with regard to gender in entrepreneurship ecosystems.

The funding was awarded under Gender-Net Plus, an EU-funded initiative that aims to strengthen links between researchers in different countries, and support gender equality through institutional change.

Professor Maura McAdam, Professor of Management and Director of Entrepreneurship at DCU’s Business School said: “There is an assumption that all entrepreneurs have equal access to resources, participation and support, as well as an equal chance of a successful outcome. However, my latest research shows that women are underrepresented in successful entrepreneurial ecosystems, and that a persistent gender bias continues to exist in entrepreneurship discourse and practice. I am delighted to take the lead on this project and look forward to working with all of my international colleagues to ultimately help attain gender equality in the entrepreneurship domain in particular and also within broader society.”